Social Media’s Role in Email Marketing

Bryce MarshallPart 1 of 2
The Email Evolution Conference offers the pulse of an industry, so I’ll do my best to recap the highlights based on the themes and debate-stirring topics from the sessions and conversations during this multi-day industry event.
Gauging by the atmosphere, there are clearly three important dynamics that are impacting everybody in the room. Essentially, these are the Email Evolution Conference 2011 themes that everyone at the conference can take back to their office and immediately incorporate into their strategic plan and tactical roadmap – regardless of their industry/vertical, target audience, list size, budget, or resources.

I’ll recap the first today. Stay tuned on Wednesday for my other takeaways that made it on the short list.

Takeaway #1: Social Media
Social media has to be understood by email marketers – or any direct digital marketer – not as a digital marketing channel to manage in alongside but in coordination with email, but as truly a new communications paradigm.

Leaders in email marketing view social media as a layered and sophisticated component of direct digital marketing. Social media presents an enormous opportunity to add meaningful engagement with consumers. It can extend the reach, impact and stickiness of their communications in ways that landing pages, microsites and corporate websites may not have been able to achieve in years past. But this is not a one way street; as social media adds value to direct digital marketing, direct digital marketing lends immeasurable amounts of credibility and manageability to social interactions.

However, understanding the opportunities for ongoing and meaningful engagement through a combined strategy employing email and social media does not mean this is the glove that fits every hand. It’s likely that large portions of your active email database are also active on Facebook, Twitter, and so on. This does not necessarily mean they all want to have deep relationships with your brand within their personal social-media space. The nature of the constituents in your database is not changing – the tools are there to allow influencers to share and engage if they so choose – but your active database is more likely dominated by people largely apathetic to advocating your brand in their personal social media realm.

As direct digital marketers, email marketing professionals need to understand these dynamics and adjust communications accordingly. Social media is not the silver bullet for everyone on your list. A flat, one-size-fits-all social media push through email may simply alienate portions of the audience. Understanding how your constituents interact (or don’t) with social media, or using other keys such as activity, engagement or influencer scoring, lends insight we need to target the right promotional approach to the right recipients.

So how does social media fit into your approach to email marketing?

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  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Knotice and Alltop Marketing, Mouthy. Mouthy said: Social Media's Role in Email Marketing « The Lunch Pail […]

  2. […] Facebook Messaging & Email Marketing Part 2 of 2 On Monday as I recapped the Email Evolution Conference, I started with social media as one of the three takeaways from the event. To review, these three […]

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